Most helpful positive review
164 of 164 people found the following review helpful
Quiet, comfortable, and efficient
on June 7, 2009
I had a Medela Pump In Style Original that I used for about 3 months before it suddenly seemed to lose suction/power and I could no longer pump as easily as I once had. I was already pleased with all the Avent products I had - bottles, pacifiers, the microwave steam sterilizer, and the bottle warmer - the Avent breast pump seemed to get good reviews and I liked the idea of pumping straight into the feeding bottles, so I took the plunge. It *is* a lot of money, but so is any other dual electronic breast pump. I only wish now that I had bought this one first so I wouldn't have wasted money on the Medela.
I've been using this pump for two weeks now and I just hope it's lifespan is longer than the Medela because I absolutely LOVE this pump!
*** UPDATE *** It is now March 1, 2010. I've been using the Avent pump for nine months now and I still love it just as much as I did when I first got it. The connection between the hose and the pump motor housing is the only thing that has worn out - it's a little plug like a telephone jack and the little tab broke off. It still works, but I can see the potential for it to come loose during a pumping session so I plan on ordering a replacement before it actually becomes a problem. Based on others' comments, I know I have to order it straight from Philips and it can take a while. But other than that, it still works great, it's still in great condition, I haven't needed to fix or replace anything else, and I still LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!
Compared to the Medela PiS the Avent Isis Duo is:
The Medela was like a piston engine. One of the ways I new it was losing power was because it was no longer as noisy as it used to be. The Avent pump is MUCH quieter. If I wanted to, I could probably pump right in my cubicle and no one would be the wiser.
Again, the Medela was like a piston engine. I felt like a cow hooked up to an automatic milking machine and it certainly didn't feel like my baby nursing. All the suction was concentrated on the nipples, not the areolae and, while not necessarily painful, it wasn't comfortable. It was supposed to have the two-phase suction that simulated the early, light sucking that stimulates letdown, followed by the deep, nutritive sucking, but I can't say I ever noticed a change in the suction or the rate. Sure, you could adjust the speed and intensity of the suction, but only to five specific presets.
The Avent, however, has the cushions that "massage" the areolae and I think this really does help with letdown and subsequent flow. If you know anything about proper latch-on, you know that baby is supposed to get the areola in his mouth, not just the nipple, so the Avent is much closer to nature in that respect. Plus, the intensity and duration of the suction are completely customizable and can be reset at any time. So you can really mimic the quick, soft letdown sucking before moving on to the long, deep sucking. I've gone entire pumping sessions without really feeling the suction, which is just like nursing - it doesn't generally feel like the baby is trying to tear your nipple off, but that's what the Medela felt like!
So Medela only had the preset speed and suction options and no matter what setting you chose, the suck part of the pump was the same duration as the release. But because you can completely control the rate of the Avent pump, you can do a very long pull (the instructions even say to depress the handle that creates the vacuum and hold it there for 3 seconds). The first time I tried this, I was amazed! The milk poured forth, a steady stream for the whole 3 seconds! It was really satisfying to hear the plop of all that milk fall into the bottle over and over again. I can finish a pumping session in much less time than I ever could with Medela. Also, because you can reset the rate at any time, you can restimulate letdown or change to a longer pause between pulls as you get to the end. With the Medela, I used to be able to still hand-express milk after the pump had long since stopped producing any, but I seem to get every last drop with the Avent pump!
Other things to keep in mind:
- The Avent funnels have more parts to disassemble, clean, and reassemble than the Medela funnels. Factoring in cleaning and assembly, while the actual pumping takes less time, my pumping sessions are overall the same amount of time from start to finish as they were with the Medela PiS.
- The Avent funnels are easier to clean by hand. When I'm at work, I use sterilizing wipes between sessions and I can actually reach all the places milk touches with my fingers. I couldn't do this with the Medela funnels.
- The Avent pump isn't integrated into the bag and it's cord is longer. This makes it a little more portable.
- The Avent tubes are stiffer than the Medela tubes. Be sure to use the bottle stands or those tubes will pull them right over.
- Avent includes funnel covers and screw bases that seal up the funnels between uses to keep them sterile. BIG plus over Medela in my book.
- The trigger and button for adjusting suction and speed are right at your fingertips instead of on the pump housing. With Medela, when you were double pumping you had to start the pump with one hand and then try to position that funnel over the breast while it was sucking, and you also had to try to break suction while the pump was still going and both hands were full - not easy!
- The included Avent manual pump is FAR superior to the manual pump included with Medela PiS.
All in all, if you're considering Medela, do yourself a favor and get this Avent pump instead! Your breasts will thank you!